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Chris in Hampshire "Mrs C" (Hampshire, England)

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Wahl Pet Grooming Brush and Comb Set, 21 cm
Wahl Pet Grooming Brush and Comb Set, 21 cm
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Grooming Set at an Excellent Price!, 19 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Wahl Pet Grooming Brush & Comb Set

This comb and double sided brush set is a brilliant product from the renowned name of Wahl. The brand name is synonymous with quality, and these items are from the Naturals Range.

The COMB -

• Stainless steel teeth set into a really stylish, smooth and comfortable to hold Bamboo handle. There is even a hole, so that if desired, the comb can be hung up.

• The comb is securely affixed with cable ties to a named display card. This is easily detached by using either scissors, human nail clipper or small secateurs and the card can be recycled. The card shows the item as being a ‘Pet Comb’ and thereby, in many cases suitable for dogs or cats.

• The stainless teeth of the comb have some slight movement and so make a little noise when in use. However, in my opinion this is not a problem. Both my 2 dogs are sound sensitive, particularly “Amber” the elder of the two, and she was not in the least worried or stressed while I was combing her. The slight movement of the teeth are better when a matte or extra thickness of fur is encountered. It is gentler on the pet in having that slight movement.

• Before using the comb on the dogs, I tried it on my own hair just to get the feel and make sure it would not be harsh on their skin. No problem at all so “Amber” the 10yo Alsatian x Greyhound x Staffie was first in line to be groomed. The handle was extremely comfortable and the comb extremely effective on "Amber". She has very short hair (see photo) and looks as though there is not much fur, but she has a dense undercoat and this comb did wonders! I have put a photo to show how much fur came out of her using just the comb. I was really impressed at the result and it was brilliant on the dense fur.

• Next up was 5yo petite Border Collie "Maisy" who has longer fur but it is really quite fine. The comb gave an excellent result remembering that "Maisy" does not have any real undercoat at this time of year. She too found the comb comfortable and stood nice and calmly.


• Like the Comb, this double sided Brush was firmly affixed to a named display card. It shows as being a 'Pet Brush' indicating that in most cases, it can be used for dogs or cats.

• This brush is a 2 in 1 style with synthetic bristles on one side and on the other, stainless steel pin head type bristles. Like the comb, it is set into sustainable Bamboo with a nice length handle that has a hole in the top to enable it to be hung up if you wish.

• As before with the comb, prior to using on the dogs I tried it on my own hair and it felt nice and comfortable, even with firm pressure. So using the pin head side first on "Amber", despite getting a lot of fur out with the comb, the pin head bristles got even more fur out and did a great job. I finished her off using the normal bristle side. Job done and there was a smart girl in front of me. The pin head side of the brush would not be suitable on the head or legs of a smooth haired pet, but could be useful, WITH CARE on a long haired breed of dog. The normal bristle side can be used all over taking great care around the face/eyes. I did not find that any static was created despite the bristle being synthetic, so that was great.

• Then it was little "Maisy's" turn for the brush. It was just great on her too, both the pin headed side on her main body, down the back legs/rump area and tail. Finishing off with the bristle side of the brush all over. She looked very smart and shiny!

I love this set and it is real value for such quality items from a well know and respected brand. I don’t think they are at all expensive given that there are 3 grooming tools in the set.

Long haired dogs and cats can be a bit of a nightmare to groom and need to be done very regularly to avoid matting. I really believe that this Wahl Comb and Brush set will be really effective in regular use and are comfortable for the owner to use.
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Rexel A4 40 Pocket See and Store Display Books - Black (Pack of 5)
Rexel A4 40 Pocket See and Store Display Books - Black (Pack of 5)
Price: £45.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful for Home, Office & Many Applications, 17 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Rexel A4 40 Pocket See & Store Display Files in Black

These are not the cheapest of this style of filing products, but, in life you get what you pay for. These Rexel Display Pocket Files are of excellent quality. I wouldn’t expect anything else from a well respected name in the world of Stationery and Office Supplies.

• The outer cover of the file is made of a nice, thick quality matte finish plastic which is easy to grip.

• The insert on the spine of the file is full length and can be removed, turned over and written on, to indicate on the spine what the subject of the file is, and on the front a list of the contents in the file.

• Inside there are 40 transparent plastic A4 size inserts. They feel fairly thin, but this is not indicative of their strength, and in my opinion these inserts are strong. Usually papers that are put in display files such as this, are not often removed anyway.
(See photo below which shows that the slim Redwings Horse Sanctuary magazine easily fits in to a pocket in the file)

• The 40 transparent inserts are affixed to the file in 2 lots of 20 inserts. This differs from the cheaper type of files and being in 2 lots makes for a more secure structure.
(See photo below)

• The file covers are of a more robust plastic than cheaper versions, and will stand up on a shelf if so desired, unlike cheap files which tend to collapse.
(See photo below)

Given the price of these Display Files, I would not buy them for children. These are quality files and I believe more suited to office use, to use in B&B’s to contain house information/tourist information, and of course for home filing for say car documents, house insurance documents etc etc. There are numerous applications for these Display Files.
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Hailo Trento TOP Design Pedal Bin, White, 26L
Hailo Trento TOP Design Pedal Bin, White, 26L
Price: £74.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Slim, Stylish and Capacious, 10 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Brilliant Kitchen Bin, it really is.

This Hailo Pedal Bin is lovely and plain but still very stylish.

The user does not have to be right in front of it for the pedal bar to lift the lid. That is a great advantage in a kitchen where space is at a premium, and the bin has to be fitted in where it can (like in my tiny kitchen!).

The pedal bar and lifting lid has a very nice smooth action. Remember though, it does not have a soft close/slow close action on the lid!!

I really, really recommend this Pedal Bin and I am so glad I purchased it.

The outer part of the Bin unit is really sturdy and strong and is completed with a very sturdy handle on the back for lifting the unit in and out of its chosen place for cleaning. The Inner Steel Bin is nice and strong too and is easy to lift out when required.

The Eco Friendly Medium Beco Ball, Blue
The Eco Friendly Medium Beco Ball, Blue
Price: £4.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Fun and Great Indoors, 10 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Beco Ball - Medium size in Green

As soon as I took this out of the packet my 2 dogs loved it! What I particularly like, is that it is suitable to play with indoors. It is a lightweight, non-solid ball and so less likely to cause any damage if it bounces too high or off the nose of the dogs. It does not mark the walls either!

On hard ground, either inside or out, because it is slightly knobbley I found that it bounces in a slightly random way to keep the dog alert. It does not necessarily hit the ground then bounce straight upwards. resulting in more fun for your dog.

It is a very lightweight ball, so should not prove difficult for the more gentle dogs to pick up and play with. The Manufacturer states it is non-toxic, however I would not want my dogs to chew on it in any event. I would not leave them alone with it, but then that is true of most toys. In addition to the safety factor, dogs enjoy the human interaction with their toys and that is what helps us humans to build a loving bond with our pets. As I understand it, in being 'non-toxic' it will not harm the dog if little bits are swallowed, but I would still rather not risk it.

Outdoors the Beco Ball can be used with the now popular chucka/flinger ball throwing devices as it is more or less the same size as a tennis ball. Remember though, that being light in weight, these Beco Balls can go 'off course' in the wind. So, be aware where you are throwing it, that it does not go into a deep river, pond, lake or on to the road, because a ball loving dog will most likely go after it wherever the ball lands.

The info card that the ball is attached to says it is 'vanilla scented'. I don't really think it is, but anyway cannot see any advantage, as you would not want your dog to be tempted to eat it because it had a foody smell.

When thrown high, it does have a sound as it flies. It is a sort of an owl sound rather than a whistle, but is not very loud at all. Again, I do not see the point, but I suppose it might catch the attention of a dog that is perhaps not used to playing and needs encouragement.

Being a lightweight toy that is squashy rather than a solid style ball, makes it easy to pop in a bag or your pocket to take out on walks. It is also light and comfortable for a small child to throw for their pet. It could also be a good toy for your cat in the small or medium sizes.

This ball is unusual in that it has an intentional hole in it! Why, what for? Well because it could have some dried dog food kibble or little treats put into it and then doubles up as an interactive feeder with the animal having to push, prod and nudge it to get the food out!

Is the Beco Ball suitable for all breeds? I am not too sure. I think the very strong mouthed breeds (eg Bull breed types, Labrador, Great Dane, Akita, the Shar Pei and similar) would most likely need a much harder rubber ball. However, each owner knows the traits and actions of their own dogs, so it is not really for me to judge. Mind you the tennis balls you buy in the pet shops are not very strong and in any event a determined toy destroying dog will rip up anything!!

Both of my rescue dogs loved it and as dog toys go, I find the price to be very reasonable. Overall I recommend it and certainly love it for my dogs.
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Sealy Posturepedic 400 g Zonal Support Pillow
Sealy Posturepedic 400 g Zonal Support Pillow
Offered by UK-Bedding
Price: £54.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Price if it Works for You, 10 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sealy Posturpedic Zonal Support Pillow – FIRM Support Rating 7

Being someone who has suffered from considerable shoulder and neck pain over the years I was very keen to have the opportunity to try this special pillow.

When younger I used to use just 1 pillow, but as years have gone preferred to use two and having had synthetic fillings since forever, now prefer to have 2 feather filled pillows. Some days I wake with a headache or a bit of a sore neck.

1st Trial of Posturpedic Pillow –
This is indeed a firm pillow and compared to my normal feather pillows did feel a little strange. There is not much 'give' in it and I did think it might be uncomfortable. Not so, sure it was a different feel but it was most certainly not uncomfortable. I used it this way for a couple of nights.

2nd Trial of Posturpedic Pillow –
The third night I put a feather pillow on top of the Posturpedic one. This also proved to be comfortable but obviously not how the Sealy pillow is designed to be used.

3rd Trial of Posturpedic Pillow –
Ah ha, this time it was a 'blind' trial on my husband! If I had said I was going to change his pillow he would have probably refused! So, I changed it without saying and knew that once he had got into bed he would probably not change it!! Yup, I was right and he had a good night's sleep. Bonus – NO SNOORING!!!! This pillow has to be worth the money just for that huh!! A real 'silent night' – RESULT! Next day he said it felt hard but did not say it was uncomfortable.

So, to sum up. I think it is an excellent pillow but may well be out of the price range of some. However, what price on a good night's sleep?

The Sealy Posturepedic Zonal Support Pillow is manufactured by a well known and trusted name in the world of sleep. This pillow is very nicely packed and presented in a transparent zipped and handled 'case' with useful information on the slot in cards.

This compact and dense pillow has 2 zones filled with ergonomic Hollowfibre and the bottom zone, for the neck, is filled with tubular foam for the gentle neck support. This section is zipped so that it can be opened and the foam tube removed prior to laundering the pillow.

The face/ the top side of the pillow has the brand label at the top and the reverse side has the bottom zip opening in respect of the foam. You need to remember this when placing on your bed so as to make sure your face and head is on the correct side of the pillow. The face up side of the pillow has more intricate stitching which is not on the back.

This pillow is very well made and is nicely piped all round the top face and the bottom. The whole item had the feel of quality about it and in addition, to back up their faith in their product, Sealy provide a 3 year Guarantee. I assume this is to cover the pillow staying firm and not losing shape under reasonable use.

The pillow is washable – by hand with the foam tubing removed, and there is an instruction label stitched on to the pillow and this is re-iterated on the card insert of the carry bag.

The pillow is rated Firm – Support Rating 7 (goes from 1 – 10). It is endorsed by the Orthopaedic Advisory Board.

The pillow measures 25 inches x 16 inches x 5 inches high approx. You may find that it is a very tight fit in your pillowcases. We have a mix of Tu, Homebase and M&S Duvet Sets. The M&S Oxford style pillowcases are the largest and the pillow did fit into this but only as it was, there was no way I could put one of the pillow protectors on the pillow first. I have, in the past, had American Size pillow cases and I think these would have been an easy fit (I don’t still have them!).

Love May Fail
Love May Fail
by Matthew Quick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not to my liking, 6 May 2015
This review is from: Love May Fail (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
“Love May Fail” by best selling author Matthew Quick sounded like a good read. The little synopsis made the book sound interesting.

The book is in 4 Parts.
1. Portia Kane – the main character in the book
2. Nate Vernon – the high school English teacher of whom Portia has fond memories
3. Sister Maeve Smith – the nun that Portia met on the flight to Philadelphia
4. Chuck Bass – the brother of old school friend Danielle Bass
Epilogue – Portia Kane

Part 1 was quite entertaining, if a little off the wall, but made quite good reading. In the chapters we learn of the state of Portia’s marriage to Ken. Of his infidelity. Of the flight Portia make to Philadelphia to stay with her mother, who to all intents and purposes is an obsessive compulsive hoarder, who suffers from dementia. We also meet Danielle Bass and her little boy Danielle is an old High School friend. All of Part 1 was quite good reading.

Part 2 – this is all about the revered English Teacher from back in the day, Nate Vernon. I found these chapters mind numbingly boring, I really did.

Part 3 is where we learn more about Sister Maeve Smith and her connections. These chapters are not too bad, but not exactly riveting.

Part 4 is where we read about Chuck Bass and the developing relationship he has with Portia. Again, I am sorry to say that I found these chapters muddling , boring and dis-jointed.

The Epilogue gives us the closing pleasure that Portia has in having sorted out Nate Vernon.

I hate to say it but I did not enjoy this book. It was disappointing and forgettable.

This review is of an advance, uncorrected proof copy.

BecoThings Eco-Friendly Poo Bag Refills
BecoThings Eco-Friendly Poo Bag Refills
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars User and Eco Friendly & Good Value, 28 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are so many dog poo bags on the market, that it is sometimes a hit and miss process to find ones that are reliable and fit for purpose. These Beco Bags fit the bill.

This Review is for the Travel Pack which contains 4 rolls of 15 bags making a total of 60 Dog Poo Bags.

I love the packaging with the retro styling and the cute bear holding a tied poo bag! The eye catching packet might even make the kids more keep on cleaning up after the family dog.

These biodegradable bags can be pulled up through the slit in the top of the box. The pack is the perfect size to keep in the glove box in your car so that you are never without these doggy essentials on days when you have driven out for that more adventurous walk.

Dispensers can be bought separately so that a roll of bags can be clipped on to a dog lead, however a roll of these bags is small enough to fit in the pocket or handbag.

The bags are of an excellent size and are truly strong. I have 2 dogs and if they happen to both poo at the same time there is plenty of room in the bag to cater for this. There are no ties but are still easy enough to tie the top. I have to say the size and strength is not unique as I already have poo bags of the same size and comparable strength. However I believe these Beco Bags are the only ones that are biodegradable and will break down in 1 year if deposited on a compost heap. If disposed of with general waste that goes to land fill, they will take longer but will be infinitely quicker than other polythene type bags.

So many poo bags are difficult to find the tear off perforations and are difficult to open. Not so with these Beco Bags. The perforations are easily visible and easy to tear.

The Travel Pack of 60 bags work out at 5 pence per bag at time of writing this review. There is the option of an 8 roll Pack and an 18 roll pack which works out the cheapest at 3½ pence per bag.

For dog owners that prefer handle ties, there is also a pack of 120 Handle Beco Bags which currently work out at 4 pence per bag.
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In a Dark, Dark Wood
In a Dark, Dark Wood
by Ruth Ware
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.69

3.0 out of 5 stars A Slow Burner then Wow!, 28 April 2015
This review is from: In a Dark, Dark Wood (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"In a Dark Dark Wood" is a women’s psychological fiction book that is centred around a hen do for bride to be Clare.

The story is told in the first person throughout by Nora (nee Leonora but also know as Lee or Leo). The opening pages of the book are of running through a wood in a state of panic. Then the scene is a room in a hospital. Pain. No remembrance.

Nora Shaw is a writer, works from home and is also a keen runner. Today is good weather, so she starts her day with a run and once back home has a refreshing shower while formulating her to do list. On checking her emails, Nora finds she is one of several recipients of an email from Florence Clay, concerning an invitation to a hen do for Clare. Nora’s friend Nina is also invited, so she sends off an email to her to ask if she intends to go. They decide to go and the story continues about their journey, meeting up at the house with the others and seeing Clare again and what they got up to on the hen do while they stay at Flo’s aunts house in the woods.

The story goes a bit round the houses, is a bit irritating and there is no real tension built up, and getting to midway in the book I found it all a bit something and nothing. There is a just a lot of discomfort between the persons staying at the house in the woods. Nora makes an uncomfortable discovery about who it is that Clare is marrying. Flo comes across as a bit weird and a bit intense concerning Clare.

About midway in the book there is the odd page here and there, that continues with the hospital theme within the storyline. It is at this point that the story gets more interesting and tension builds slowly but surely. The story now gets to be a page turner and to give you the details will surely spoil it for you. The book does have a slow start but once you have reached this point it is amazing. Nora is suspected of murder, but are the police on the right trail? Read on and find out – I guarantee you will be surprised at the outcome of this book.

His Other Life
His Other Life
by Beth Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing? No. A 'Thriller'? No., 11 April 2015
This review is from: His Other Life (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"His Other Life" is certainly not a Thriller!

Reading the first chapter of the book, I thought it was going to be a good read, despite the rambling way it is written. It opens with Gracie and her husband Adam, on an ordinary evening, clearing up in the kitchen after a meal. It is their Wedding Anniversary - 1 year today. Adam's mobile phone vibrates as it lies on the counter in the kitchen, but Adam ignores it. Grace thinks he must have heard it so why not answer it? This first chapter continues with the mundane events of the week and then it is Friday again. This week it is take-away night so with no dinner to prepare, Grace does some bits and pieces to kill time while waiting for Adam to come home. The phone rings in the living room, but before Grace can get to it from the kitchen she hears a message being recorded on the answer phone. Just as Adam is about to go out for the food, Grace remember to tell him about the phone message. He marches into the living room to hear the message, not once but four times Adam plays it after which he strides into their bedroom then rushes back down the stairs saying he is off to get the food and for Gracie to warm the plates because he won't be long. Adam never came home.

All that sounds promising, but believe me it is not. The story continues in a very drawn out way and written in such a manner that it does not seem to be serious. There is a lot of deviation and side tracking. Some bits are vaguely amusing but mostly it is a bit silly. There is a lot of swearing in the narrative. If it were not for that it would be like a children's story. It really is weak and very disappointing.

The synopsis made the story sound a good one, but it really isn't. It is not cleverly plotted and there is no real suspense. It is not really a dark story or a page turner for that matter. It was ok and probably a book for mid-teen girls. Grace, the main character, is so naïve and just not at all like most women today.

It is a reasonable read, but does not set the mind on fire, and is very unforgettable. First time I have read this Author and I am not impressed with her work. I have read more thrilling and intriguing Young Adult and Children's books than this. "His Other Life" is just an easy read with little or no substance to it. Disappointing.

Tefal Pro Express Total X-pert GV8975 Steam Generator - 2400 Watt
Tefal Pro Express Total X-pert GV8975 Steam Generator - 2400 Watt
Price: £249.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Professional Type of Ironing Product, 11 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Tefal Pro Express Total X-Pert Control

Wow! This really is some Steam Generating Iron. A veritable Rolls Royce of Steam Irons – I LOVE it!

It comes in such a huge box for an iron, but once you open up the top you see why. This is one super machine.

This Steam Generator will NOT be suitable to place on the iron rest of your ironing board. It is too large and too heavy. If you do your ironing in a Utility Room then you have the option to place the Generator Unit on a heat resistant work surface OR on the floor OR on a stool on the floor. The Iron itself can stand on its heel on your ironing board, or if the Generator is on a work surface then the iron can rest on that.

The Iron –
When on its heel on the ironing board it is very stable. The heel of the iron has a large footprint, with a cut out where the thick steam cord integrates. This cord is central and is therefore suitable for left or right handed people.

The Aquabooster Spray and Power Zone Steam controls are all on the top of the iron itself. The Steam Activator Control is underneath the handle and activated by just squeezing. Once released then the steam is stopped.

The Soleplate of the iron is really lovely with lots of steam holes, the Power Zone at the front end and plenty of groove to go under buttons etc. The Sole is sooooooo smooth, is a joy to use and also autocleans. If the wrong temperature has been used and the soleplate needs cleaning then just use a damp cloth while the iron is warm. DO NOT use any type of de-scaling or cleaning products on the soleplate.

It is not a light weight iron, I would say it is a medium weight. I don’t like heavy irons and I do find this one very comfortable to use, not too heavy and with a very comfortable handle and absolutely no strain on the hands when depressing the steam button.

The Steam Generator –
This is very large and will not fit on your ironing board.

All the heat controls are on the Steam Generator, as is the Anti-Calc Collector, the power cord and plug and the Steam Cord.

Brilliantly the Power Cord pulls out from the side of the Generator and when not in use, press the button and it retracts back in, just like on a Vacuum Cleaner. Perfect! The length of the Power Cord is 68 inches. It is fitted with the usual 3 pin plug for UK use.

The Steam Cable is stored in the base of the Steam Generator and once pulled out measures 5 feet from base to the Iron. When using the Steam button there is sometimes a little noise that comes from the base but this is quite normal.

The Anti Calc Collector is on the side by the power cord. Just lift up the Pink Tab and unscrew and then gently pull out the Anti Calc Collector. An orange anti-scale light will flash on the Control Panel of the base unit to indicate that the anti-scale collector needs rinsing. DO NOT use any de-scaling products.

The Water Tank is the see through part at the front of the Generator and the silver Tefal handle just needs a little pull to remove the tank. The Generator is designed to be used with untreated Tap water and there is a Maximum Fill Indicator. Should the water in your area be especially hard then you can mix 50% Distilled Water with the tap water. In the User Guide there is a list of waters that must not be used in the unit. Once full the Tank Unit just clicks back into place.

The On/Off Switch and heat controls are on the Generator base, along with the Eco Button, Water Tank Empty Light and the Anti Calc Light.

Safety Feature – If the unit has not been used for about 8 minutes the automatic shut-off system operates and the blue light On/Off button flashes to indicate it is on standby. To start ironing again just press the On/Off button or the Steam button and off you go ironing again. I think this is a brilliant feature of this Steam Generator.

Once ironing is finished, allow to cool down then place the Iron on the base unit. Press the button on the right to retract the Power Cord. Tuck the Steam Cord away into the base. The iron can be locked on to the Base by lifting up the retaining hoop at the top of the base and clicking into place over the iron. To lift the whole unit, use the handle of the iron

The User Guide is written in English, EL and AR. It is simple enough to follow with written instructions and diagrams/pictures to use in tandem. 2 spare Spray Nozzles are also supplied with their own instructions.

I have looked on-line, because these days products usually need registering for the Guarantee, but Tefal does not seem to have this feature on their web site.

This Steam Generator costs a lot and is probably out of reach for a lot of families. I do however believe that if it is used as per the Instructions, and all care is taken, it will have a long life and therefore be worth the money.

I am disappointed that the Guarantee is only for 1 year. At this price I think it should be at least 2 years or ideally 3 years. All in all I really recommend this product – I love it! It would make a superb Wedding or Engagement present.

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